Demolition of Bloomfield’s Foley Field

Thar she goes — Foley Field demolition footage from Wheeler Antabanez, around 11:30 this morning.

A missed opportunity? Cartoonist Steve Crooks thinks it would have been nice to recycle bits and pieces of the defunct stadium.

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  1. Wow, that was good! It didn’t look like the cranes were applying that much pressure, which I guess is why they’re tearing it down.

  2. Wow….. I can hardly see past that field of red ribbons.

    I can’t believe we had a barely legal vote and a whole 20 people tied a ribbon in support for a debt over the next 20 years. It’s is disgusting how the few can bleed the many dry in Bloomfield. Yet we can’t afford the pavement for a decent path to the train station – the one element of downtown that could bring in the younger disposable income crowd.

    I use to think City Hall was just lazy and after a paycheck. Now I think they actively hate this town and want to see it become a wasteland of empty stores and foreclosed homes.

  3. hrh–I think it’s only a 5 year year debt for the field. I voted in favor of it reluctantly, but we need a field for our sports and marching band. And at $43/year (one family trip to Vinnies) I figured it’s money well spent as long as there are no cost overruns, like at the high school.

    That said, our town leaders leave more than a little to be desired.

  4. I also went to the Thanksgiving Day game there with my father when I was a kid. I remember the Tripucka family well-Tracy and Kelly, the football players, and Heather, the cheerleader.

  5. I have always felt that who work in Town Hall in Blmfd. as well as the influential persons who perhaps do NOT work in Town Hall, need very badly to drive over to a few other town’s shipping centers and soak up the knowledge hoe to make an inviting, profitable and enjoyable place to shop.
    However….. most of them have their heads in the sane and are blind to see with their own eyes the differance between Bloomfield and:
    Millburn Center
    South Orange Center
    Maplewood Center
    Summit Center

    As I have atated on here, many, mnay times, Bloomfield borders a town with NO shopping Center, that being Glen Ridge and also Montclair. So then, why do our town’s retail stores shun those two towns and cater to shoppers from Newark and East Orange ? Newark is further away than Montclair & East Orange is further away than Glen Ridge, and East Orasnge has a shopping center on Central Ave.

  6. Bloomfield caters to those who show up. People in Glen Ridge and Montclair are scared of anything past Watchung Ave. in Bloomfield, so they won’t be shopping the south end. It took me a few years of living here before I could get my parents to visit.

    As far as the field – the numbers on this project changed a few times so no one really knows the cost, a good way for TPTB to escape any real responsibility later. This is a blank check project. And it is so vital to the students and community that not even all the HS athletes could bother to hang a ribbon. The parents couldn’t be bothered to throw fundraisers. I publically begged for any type of private fundraising and heard crickets.

    Even if we consider the ribbon campaign to be one family per ribbon it is still a pathetic number to spend tax dollars on. This is a want not a need and the public’s response proves that, as well as the snuck in 3rd vote that most voters didn’t know about. Had that vote not been so hush hush this wouldn’t be happening now.

    Sleazy politics and a welfare mentality of let someone else pay. It’s embarrassing.

  7. Yet, Sandy, the neighborhood on Broad Street & Baldwin where there are several good restaurants is promising. Parking is easy, and there will be a seat at one place or another. I think it has happened because the rents are much more affordable than Montclair, and the neighborhood is safe.

  8. I can’t believe they didn’t close JFK Parkway during that demol!!!!
    I believe Foley was a former Mayor back in the day.

  9. “… The parents couldn’t be bothered to throw fundraisers. I publically begged for any type of private fundraising and heard crickets.”

    The only “fundraising” that I’ve ever seen anyone from Bloomfield do is accosting motorists at red lights and hitting them up for $$.

  10. How wrong you are Johnqp. In fact the Watsessing Elementary school is running an inkjet, mobile phone, dvd, recycling for cash fundraiser. If you’re interested please come by the school and drop off your goods. We’re also planning a Tricky Tray and we’ll have a May 14 yard sale. If you’d like to participate please email:

  11. Let’s not forget that the debt for this does not include rebuilding the bleachers, it only includes tearing down the bleachers and redoing the track and field. You can be sure they will come back to us for millions more when it comes time to rebuild, even though we were told they were working on private funding for that.

  12. LOL! When I first moved here I saw children running in traffic and begging for money and called the police ~ someone was bound to get hit. It’s really quite dangerous, and perhaps the inspiration for a photo series of “street beggers in Bloomfield NJ”

  13. What a sad day for Bloomfield!!! I learned how to play football there, at the clinics ran by Joe Bogusz and Joe Konn, back in the late fifties. Then played there in High School. Many many fond memories of games and annual fireworks display there.

  14. Yeah Sandy, let’s emulate South Orange and Maplewood with 100s of thugs wilding through the streets every warm night. I’ll take Bloomfield any day over that drama!

  15. jphn,

    You called police becvause kids were asking for money to support their sports programs.

    When you pass out kids who are washing cars to support their sports programs so you call police as well.

    When you hear about a tricky tray or beefseak dinner to support our schools do you call the police?

    What a piece of work you are!

  16. The kids were running IN TRAFFIC – in traffic lanes with traffic moving. Some wwere on the yellow line while cars were going alongside them in both directions.

    Its unsafe and I will call every time I see it. Children should not be put at that risk.

  17. Hey Get rid of that nasty go go bar called Heartbreakers on Bloomfield Ave, AND THEN THAT IS A GOOD BEGINNING. Maybe you people should ask them to support Foley Field restoration. I know what they will tell ya!Oh! While you are at it! Get rid of that so-called super market right next door to that trash called Heartbreakers.

  18. thanks DagT : this spring I will be riding with camera at the ready in my car ~ perhaps the good editors at Baristanet would be interested in a photoblog of kids running in traffic to fundraise

  19. Yes John that traffic stop fundraising is a low point for this town. But as bad as it is – people couldn’t even be bothered to do that for this project.

  20. Happy Friday! Although I’m not from Bloomfield, I’ve got plenty of extended family and friends that grew up there, so I’ll comment.

    Why stop at calling police on kids that are raising money for sports teams or activities? They stand by the road because that’s where the traffic is. Presumably no one is running in front of speeding cars. You may also consider calling the police on firemen who stand in traffic to solicit donations. Imagine the psychological trauma to some poor innocent texting away in their Prius as they send one of our bravest flying over the hood? And keep a sharp eye out for veterans with their red paper poppies at the super market, Girls Scouts, and Salvation Army volunteers.

    As for the begging aspect, perhaps you hail from the East, as in Asia, where one is less likely to encounter such a common suburban practice. Here, most of us donate, not lock the doors and floor it.

    The shopping district in Bloomfield is evocative of having driven through a time warp of some sort. The architecture gives it a ’50s feel, but the stores are predominantly a hodgepodge of low end bargain retail, serviceable yes, upscale, no. Downtown MTC is similar in this regard. It is more upscale, but not at first glance. Despite some individual gems, there is an air of long term deferred maintenance and decline. It’s a question of what clientele that you want to cater too. It may be funky to have a great restaurant next to a tattoo parlor and a pre-paid phone card place, but folks this isn’t the lower east side. In contrast, Summit has it pulled together. The main retail streets are an attractive mix of stores that uniformly appeal to more affluent shoppers. There isn’t the grunge factor that we have, and that’s a big ingredient in their recipe for success. Oh, and they have diversity too, the good kind that you don’t read about in the crime blotter.

  21. With regard to Foley Field, I reludctantly voted yes. It seems kind of strange to invest money into expanding the high school, then tell the sports teams”good luck finding a place to play your games”. I grew up in Montclair, watching baseball and football games played at Woodman Field. In the 25+ years since I left high school, the facilities there have only gotten better. Bloomfield also has the opportunity to make something new and maintain it for future generations.

    Regarding Bloomfield’s downtown: As a resident of the town for 7 years, I usually drive through Bloomfield Center like I drive through the Lincoln tunnel, with my eves focused on the destination and not the surroundings. I recently has an opportunity to actually walk through Bloomfield Center, and I was puzzled. As someone has already said, getting rid of the go-go bar would be a major improvement. It looks like there was some sort of attempt at redevelopment, but it either fell short or was abandoned. At any rate, it appears as though the area is ripe for a makeover. I think Bloomfield has enough fried chicken shacks, hair and nail joints and cell phone shops. Maybe some national retail chains could be lured in. The problem is people are afraid to shop in Bloomfield because it looks run down. One or two decent businesses opening in Bloomfield could change everything. I’m not sure what the town is doing to market these open properties, but they should probably do more. Montclair, by contrast, is a ghost town. The real estate boom is over. No more Sushi houses on every street corner. Restaurants used to come and go, now they are just going. As a kid growing up in Montclair, there were never as many vacant properties as there are now. 15 years ago, Montclair’s business owners complained about no parking, so no foot traffic. Now there’s parking, but rents are so high, no retailers want it. I don’t think Bloomfield needs to follow anybody else’s business model except it’s own. But Bloomfield needs to think hard about what businesses would work for the surrounding community.

  22. The Bloomfield High track team hasn’t had a field to use since the 80’s. So they’ve long been told ”good luck finding a place to play”

    But of course why pay attention to details and facts when fake numbers and assumed splendor for the town is being presented.

  23. I rarely post on Baristanet but some things need to be clarified here: First, to John Lee. I don’t know you, don’t know where you come from and I agree that the bucket brigades that many sports and organizations resort to are less than optimal for all involved. The hard fact – they raise a ton of money this way. Most organizations have the adults walking between the cars and the kids on the sidewalk, including the one I am affiliated with. I certainly hope you aren’t a Bloomfield resident wasting the cops time calling about well-intentioned parents and kids raising money for activities. . . And as for Baristanet covering this – why don’t you spend your time covering all the positives. The BHS Musical this weekend would be a good place to start. There is a Kiwanis pancake breakfast at Demarest School too on Saturday morning. Lots of good photo ops at both!

    Second, to Hrpphg(whatever) – parents were NEVER asked for much feedback, involvement or financial contributions towards the Foley project. Haven’t you realized by now that this BOE hates parents, resents their “interference” and does not feel in any way obligated to work with any other community group. Every single HSA in town was willing to create fundraising campaigns for Foley, independent groups of parents were willing to work together to find ways of attracting private funds. The only time the Foley committee or the BOE came to the parents was to pass the funds for the field. As a parent, it was hard to say no to something that desperately had to be done. So, before you yell at the town at large let’s be quite clear about where the weak links are!

    And as for the town council – I do not honestly know how these individuals look at themselves in the mirror everyday while continuing to participate in unethical, illegal and just wrong actions. The mayor should have gone – but a lot of people voted for him. The council needs to get a clue about what their responsibility is and do their damn jobs instead of fighting and engaging lawyers. Perhaps a coup is in order here because most of us are so tired of having our town maligned yet there is a lot of evidence that things are wrong.

    Sure I will invite some tacky personal slam from someone on this site – because that is how it usually works on these forums but perhaps you will read this in the spirit with which it is intended.

  24. hrhppg, you talk as though it’s OK for the track team not to have a home stadium, since that’s they way it’s been since the 80’s. I’m suggesting the cycle be broken. If you are going to pay taxes, at least be able to see where your money is going. We defintely disagree with what the “details and facts” truly are…

  25. The parents didn’t need to have BOE approval to raise and donate funds. They gladly accepted a huge check from past alumni, no reason they wouldn’t have accepted any money toward this project. I don’t mean to be a negative broken records but this has been one lame excuse after another with everyone else blaming anyone else.

    And all these people who so desperately wanted to do something but didn’t harks back to the ribbon campaign. Didn’t need BOE approval for that either. Had more then 30 ribbons gone up I’d have changed my position. But they didn’t. The lawns signs – another way that people were suppose to show their support -I saw 2 in the whole town. I drove around looking and saw 2 ! Is that all the concerned parents you are talking about?

    The weak link isn’t any one thing or party in this, it’s all of it.

    Also if all these good things are happening why aren’t parents sending that info to baristanet. Top of the page is a link to email this site. Again blaming someone/thing else for not being on top of your town and your school system? Come on.

  26. Brookdale Mom and hrhppg, you both make sense.

    What I’m not sure I understand about Bloomfield is how a sizable population of educated people can be so apathetic to the machine-politics in both the municipal government and the BOE. The re-vote on Foley Field was head-shaking to an outside observer. The inter-council lawsuits and disputes and rumors of misdeeds is too. I went to one town council meeting: the air seemed to wiggle over the mayor’s head. The atmosphere was oily. Where are the activists in this town?

  27. Yeah Sandy, let’s emulate South Orange and Maplewood with 100s of thugs wilding through the streets every warm night. I’ll take Bloomfield any day over that drama!

    You are an idiot. This has taken place 2 times, in the history of South Orange. Yes, 2 times within a short period. You will see that it will not happen again. Secondly, Thugs? The S.O. police agreed that no riles were broken, no persons were beat up and or robbed. Thee was no looting of stores, and no cars damaged nor stolen. If it had been a group of 10 people nothing would have made print.
    They are doing it because it scares people and they are getting a charge out of that.
    I believe that the S.O. polioce now have a handle on that, it while it might happen again, the THRILL of it will die down.

    They are probably doing it becsue S.O. center is so great, probabl;y the greatest center of town, in all of Essex Couinty. Sidewalk Cafes, hugh selection of restaurants, 5 movies, a performing arts center, train to mid-town NYC direct, plenty of parking, a park in the center of town, that has wom national awards, rose gsrdens, duck ponds and much more.
    I’d bet you have not been to S.O. center in a decade ! Perhaps…never!

    If you are scared of S.O. center….okay, how about Summit Center? Millburn Center ??

  28. well @deadeye, your racism is astounding, but that’s how the cracker crumbles so lets move on.

    I have no beef with soliticitations at the supermarket, or Brookdale Arts In The Park, or some safe location; however kids running in traffic is a whole other ballgame. There are things like tithes, creating foundations, sponsoring tables at charitable balls and other ways to raise money that don’t put children at jeopardy.

    @Brookdalemom – so if walking around in traffic is okay while fundraising, do you think the judge will void a jaywalking citation if there was a money exhange involved? regardless of the purpose, dodging cars in traffic is not safe, and its really irresponsible to have kids do it

    I am now convinced. A photo essay is in order. I’d love it if Baristanet would publish it, but if not there are other child advocates that I am sure would be interested in what goes on in the suburbs.

  29. @ John Lee: Racism? Moi? Get a grip. Safety first! Gotham City has Batman, we’ve got you. Glad to see that you’re keeping our police on their toes. Psst, rumor is that there is going to be a car wash at a local high might want to stake that out, just to give the proper authorities a tip.

  30. John Lee, deadeye isn’t a racist, simply put he just doesn’t like poor people, white or black. It’s a side effect from working at a hedge fund.

    Bnet, you should cover BHS’s Grease production like brookdale mom suggested. It’s quite good.

  31. Bnet should also cover the car wash. I’d pay to have @John Lee’s mouth washed out. Maybe we could take up a collection.

  32. @belletones – personal attacks? a suggestion of a physical altercation? an offer to coordinate an effort to pay for a physical altercation? sounds as if someone might not know much about the legal ramification regarding threats, whether real or in jest, on the internet.

    Sounds as if my pointing out the obvious regarding children running in traffic to fundraise may have very well opened your eyes to the dangers to which parents expose their children.

    When one of those kids is hit be a car I will be interested to see the reaction in the community.

  33. It is dangerous having students run around in traffic to raise a few dollars. Particularly now that many people play on the internet or text while driving.

    We have seat belt laws, but hey go run in traffic. There’s got to be an easier way to make a dollar.

  34. @John Lee, since when is having your mouth washed out a physical altercation? Sounds like you don’t know an altercation from a collection.

    Stop threatening to run over our children as they collect money for their sports activities. Stop threatening to use our public services (police) for your own amusement.

    Did you bother to contribute. You were too busy talking on your cell phone- may I point out that it’s illegal to talk on your cell and drive. And that even if you were on a hands free device – those should be made illegal as well.

    Stop putting our residents at risk by illegally talking on your cell while you cut through Bloomfield to reach your home in Montclair.

    Just an FYI- those kids will soon be collecting tolls on our streets to support their schools. Anyone who is not a resident will have to pay or be towed.

  35. um @belletones ; did you know that posting information on the internet that cites a specific individual as engaging in illegal activity is indeed illegal. Suggesting that specific individuals have threated to run over children as well as stating matter of factly that “You were too busy talking on your cell phone” (and illegal activity) are both libelous statements. Be careful what you write about others, you never know who else may see your activity.

  36. Hey John,

    What does it matter since you outed yourself here and told us that you called the police while driving through Bloomfield. I’ve only repeated what you told us.

    Now you ask Barista to post photos of our children. Better have individual photo releases signed by the parents that maligned.

  37. that should have read.

    that you malign

    Is it illegal to take pictures of children without their parents permission? Is it illegal to post pictures of children that you have taken without their parent’s permission?

    @john lee are you threatening our childen?

  38. When children are running around in traffic I have, and will continue to, call the police to report the activity; it is unsafe to behave in that manner.

    There is nothing illegal about taking photographs of public places. Supreme Court’s most recent decision in 2009 protects photographers, whether journalists or tourists, from being detained.

    Please re-read your comment and you will see that you are the only one making threats. You are also the only one suggesting that I run down children.

  39. I have made NO suggestion that you run down children. You are the one forecasting a dire situation – threatening to photograph our kids if they fundraise in public.

    It is both unafe and illegal to make calls while driving.

    Our children in Bloomfield are allowed out in the street the same as those in Montclair. To call our fundraising kids “street beggers” is really an affront and insult to the kids.

  40. I feel as though I’ve spent at least a semester at Harvard Law School reading the back and forth between you two distinguished attorneys.

    Can we agree that: A: Moving about in traffic is not the best idea, and
    B. Kids in every town in America do it and almost no one
    gets hurt.

    It is great though that disagreements between folks in this country start and end with “the law”. DeToqueville was right.

  41. @john lee I asked that you stop threatening to run down OUR children.

    I did not alledge that you have run down any children. Have you? Are you admitting to that here?

  42. The baseball team was out doing the begging in traffice fundraising yesterday. It looked a mess. Four grown men with thrown together signes that you couldn’t read until you were right on top of them.

    I take it back, I have no real evdience that it was the BH baseball team. I’d hope after the cost of teh HS project the real BH students would have learned the concept of block lettering for impact, or having a advertising poster be legible.

    Free idea – why can’t they do something like a pledge drive – how many balls can they hit in 25 pitches. Make a day of it in the park, each kid on the team could get pledges from friends and neighbors of how ever much per hit, then everyone gets together to watch the competition. I’d do at least a dollar myself and that could be $25 from just one person in town.

    It would be more fun then the buckets, more money and make the town feel involved with the baseball team.

  43. See – it was ALL adults. No kids “running in traffic”.

    I suggest that you call the rec department and give them your idea. They are the ones who control the reservations for the fields and could easily spread the word.

  44. No way belletones. Let a parents take the idea and run with it. Or they won’t and that will further prove that this town lacks people willing to help themselves beyond holding out their bucket.

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